December marked month 69 in the “Making A Million Challenge” and we also saw the end of 2022.
Although the world seems to be in a constant state of chaos with inflation, war, climate change etc. After the lockdowns and previous years it did seem a bit more normal.
Still enjoying the betting and trading on a daily basis, overall it was a very positive year!
In today’s post I will quickly go through Decembers results, then take a look at the strategies/results used for 2022.
Alright let’s quickly go through the results for December.
December was an odd month. It started off very well and I continued to make good trading decisions in the world cup and value bets were winning. Then in the knockout stages things seemed to go pear shaped, everything just started losing and some bias crept into my in-play trading as the bigger named teams squared off.
By Christmas it looked like I would probably have a small losing or winning month depending on the next few days. However the return of “regular” football saw a big increase volume and the last few days of the month exploded in profit.
Which meant that December finished with a decent profit totaling £3632
Let’s take a look at the year as a whole, breaking down which strategies/services performed well.
2022 was a record year in terms of profit with a total of £39,845 being made. Which was a great total and by March I had run through all pretty much all my bookmaker accounts and focused on using purely the exchanges and betting shops.
One perhaps concern was that the majority of the profit was made in the first 6 months with £27,475 being made at the end of June. The latter 6 months produced a profit of £12,370 which was more in line with previous years.
Obviously one factor was no more soft bookmaker accounts and of course there is always variance with betting/trading. Last year might be just end up being an outlier, guess I’ll find out.
Let’s dig into the results!
Horse Racing Betting
Disappointing year for the horse racing portfolio and by December I had knocked it on the head. Due to the fact that it didn’t seem to be warranting the time spent on it.
The year started fairly well and Beth Bet ( A horse racing value betting tool) continued to do very well and was bringing in the majority of the profit. Unfortunately early in the year (Sometime in Feb/March I think?) they discontinued the service without any reason.
It’s likely they were bought out by either a bookmaker or a syndicate. They seemed to be growing in their customer base and pretty much everyone I spoke to was having success with it.
After that I used some free tipsters from the Smart Betting Club, tried out Hansbury Racing and did some of my own betting. However results just went south for pretty much the entire second half of the year.
I’m not completely throwing horse racing betting away and might revamp things for 2023. However other strategies were proving to be much more profitable, meaning it was better to put more time into those.
Total made – £550
FTS Ultimate is a service that gives you access to historical data and a few different models to use. It isn’t a service that provides selections, the service allows you to dig into the data to find your own edge.
I joined Ultimate for the 2022/2023 season, setting up four different systems that will be followed for the entire season. Exact details of the systems can’t be given out as it wouldn’t be fair to FTS however I can give brief labels to what they are.
System 1 (Lay Draw), Stakes – £50 lay bet, Results = £2608
System 2 (Form based system) £50 to £100 lay bets, Results = -£335
System 3 (Backing under 2.5/under.3.5) £50 to £100 back bets, Results = -£1200
System (Underdog System) £10 to £30 back bets, Results = £162
Total – £1235
Bets And Beers Telegram Group
A service that I used for the last 2 months of the years was “Bets And Beers.”
Which I know sounds like the muggiest group ever or maybe even the start of a shitty rap song “Give me bets, beers, boobies and bitches, stacking cash backing players on pitches!”
I wonder what Vanilla Ice is up to, maybe we could team up…….
However the service itself though is very solid and has a few years of results backing it up. It’s a very simple laying service, where you lay the draw or lay horses.
I started the service on the 3/11/22 and by the end of the year a profit of £924 had been made.
This was staking £20 on the half time lay selections, then laying £50 in second half should that bet lose. For the horse racing selections I was risking £200 per bet.
If you are interested in the service you can find it here, along with long term results.
Value Betting And Trading
The next section is a couple of strategies that I record on one spreadsheet as it saves me a lot of time. However I will break down the strategies involved.
In 2022 this is what brought in the biggest amount of profit and where I found the largest edge.
That’s a pretty nice graph and although there are some £1-2k downswings. The amount of volume and lack of volatility makes it look like it was plain sailing. Although it never really felt like that on a week to week basis.
The strategies used were pre match trading, value betting and what I would say is advanced value betting or what I have heard be called “The top down approach.”
Pre Match Trading
Pre match trading is something that’s been covered a lot on this blog and I’ve also made videos about it.
Your aim with pre match trading is to be in and out of the market before the start of the event, backing at a higher price then you lay or vice versa.
Here is a video which explains what pre match trading is with examples.
Value Betting and Top Down Approach
Value betting again is something else that been written about a lot on this blog. The aim is to beat the closing odds at Pinnacle or on the betting exchanges. This has been shown long term to be very profitable with very big sample sizes of data showing this.
Here is our guide to value betting if you want to learn more.
Due to running out of soft bookmakers the opportunity to do standard value betting was pretty limited this year. After listening to many successful American bettors talk about using a “top down approach.”
Which is reading odds movement and basically predicting where the market is going to move. Basically making a prediction on what the value side is likely to be.
I started to try and figure out if this approach would work for myself.
For example tonight Arsenal are playing Newcastle and looking at the market a few days earlier, there were signs that Arsenal would get backed in. I placed a bet at 1.87 and its currently moved in to lay at 1.82. (An indication of value, lay odds being lower then back odds.)
With value betting although I tend be right more then more then I am wrong. I stake smaller and leave it as a value bet (leave it to go in-play) as opposed to pre match trading. For pre match trading I am usually more confident in my read so stakes used are higher.
Also there are some smaller markets where you can’t get too much money down, which makes pre match trading difficult.
The third strategy is a hybrid of the first two. If my confidence level is fairly high I will stake a higher amount and then as the market moves in my favour reduce the liability. This is done by laying at a lower amount and leaving 20 – 30% of my stake as an enhanced value bet.
In the above example the lay bet is now at effective odds of 2.25. Crystal Palace are priced at 3.8 to lay. So by reading the market, laying then backing its enhanced what was already a value bet but lowered the stake.
The reason for this approach is that it lowers the volatility of straight value betting. Which means that you don’t have to deal with as much variance.
How To Read A Market
How do you read a market?
That’s probably the biggest question and unfortunately if I gave out every detail it would either kill my edge or greatly reduce it. Which means I can’t give everything away however I can give some helpful advice.
First off you want some odds comparison software, value betting or arbitrage software. This enable you see odds movement in the market. (In real time)
Personally I use Oddsmonkey, Trademate and Oddsportal (comparison site).
This allows you to see what’s getting backed in with bookmakers, exchanges and sharp bookmakers. Then your basically looking for recurring patterns in the markets. There are some teams that I call “Market favs” you see them time and time again getting backed in.
Perhaps it’s 3 days out and you see money coming in on Sheff Utd for the 3rd week running. It’s fairly likely that the money is going to keep coming.
Next up you need to think about the market in different time frames
What happens 5/3/2 days before a game is due to start?
If there isn’t Pinnacle odds, which is the sharpest bookmaker?
When a team wins 5-0 what happens to the price in their next game immediately after the current games finished. 3 days before the game, morning of the game?
You will see overreactions in market where odds move too far, looking at time frames you might start to get a hint on when the market reverses.
It’s more advanced then straight up value betting, requires more work. However that’s likely why its more profitable. (Unless your a big multi accounter that can hammer through soft books without worry)
Overall from value betting and trading a total of £33,942 was made.
Booked in my first losing year of mixed martial arts and boxing betting. The MMA markets have definitely become sharper over the last few years.
Whether it was just variance or I need to change my approach time will tell.
95% of bets are on underdogs and a sample of 107 bets isn’t massive. However it did suck out a lot of the enjoyment that I get from watching MMA seeing bet after bet lose.
This is the nature of betting though and downswings can happen. We all know this we just don’t it to happen to us, 2023 should provide some answers on if things need to change or not.
A total of -£1314 was lost betting MMA.
Horse Racing – £550
FTS – £1235
Bets and Beers – £924
Value Betting/Trading – £33,942
MMA Betting – -£1314
Misc/Everything Else – £4508
(Misc/everything else accounts for in-play betting on UFC, in-play football trading, casino offers and some free tipster bets. Whilst I account for these in my daily profit and loss sheet, I don’t track them on separate sheets as there isn’t a massive amount of volume. Overall it cuts down on the amount data input I do on a daily basis)
Total Made In December
Overall Profit Since The Challenge Began
Thoughts Going Forward
Very happy with the overall results for 2022.
In terms of goals it would be good to push towards £50,000 profit in a year. However I could have just run very well in 2022 and profits could drop off. Have to be realistic and keep that in mind.
The UK betting scene does seem a complete fucking mess at the moment, which is a slight worry but completely out of our control. What we can control is to keep learning, finding edges, putting in the time and hopefully the profit continues to come.
Thanks for reading, hope you had a good 2022 and wish you all the best for 2023!
Ryan is a former mixed martial arts and kickboxing competitor. After finishing university he played online poker and taught English for a living in Thailand for a few years.
Upon returning to England his focus has been on making a living from sports trading, betting and arbitrage. Over the course of 5 years he has managed to make a six figure profit using the strategies discussed on this site.
Ryan runs the sports betting and trading website www.smartsportstrader.com